Lisa asks: I just don’t seem able to make a chocolate cake that rises and stays risen. I’ve tried buying new baking powder, using my non fan oven and buying an electric device for beating.
I made one yesterday and it seemed to have worked and risen. I put a spike in to test and it came out clean so I took it out of the oven. It then immediately sank and was very dense in the middle.
Any ideas/tips? Many thanks for any advice you can offer.
Baking S.O.S. says: It sounds like you are doing everything right, so the only suggestion I can make is to go back to square one: if the recipe(s) you are making doesn’t turn out the way you want, try a different one.
I always fall back to the real experts, bakers and pastry chefs who have spent their entire careers testing and developing recipes to get the formula just right. When you start with a recipe that you know has been tested to work correctly, then the cake should turn out well when all those other variables have been tested, as well.
My favorite sources are “The Cake Bible” by Rose Levy Beranbaum and Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, which tests every recipe through countless variables and variations to find the perfect results and then publishes only the final winning recipe in the magazine.
You can search Rose’s cake recipes on her blog at the link above, or find one of her chocolate cake recipes here at the Community Food Co-op blog.
Or try Cook’s Illustrated’s Chocolate Layer Cake, posted on the Dallas Morning News website. I will note that in my experience, all my favorite cake recipes contain buttermilk, as this one does, so it should produce a delicious flavor.
I hope one of those recipes will produce better results for you. Good luck!